Makansutra: Final hawker recommendations in swansong column
In his swansong column, Makansutra's founder gives his final hawker recommendations
We all love our likes on social media, myself included.
But I would rather you like what I post because of the food I have experienced rather than simply out of habit.
In the past month, I ticked off a long list of delectables to review. As this is my swansong column for this newspaper, I will pack in the ones I enjoyed most.
Du Du Cooked Food
#01-10 Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre, 22A Havelock Road, opens 9.30am to 12.30pm, closed on Sunday and Monday
Mr Tan, 74, is only a few years younger than the 80-year-old milling contraption used at his stall to make the locally created steamed cake, tutu kueh.
The large-sized cakes ($1 each) still use traditional fillings such as coconut and sugar peanuts.
The firm yet soft gummy texture of the cake is Mr Tan's edge and it is still sieved in a large sieving machine just beside the tutu kueh steamer.
Old Satay Club Mee Goreng
Gluttons Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue, opens 5pm to 10.30pm, closed on Monday
This stall gives a laksa twist to the usual Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah.
The chicken is marinated in laksa spices overnight, then deep fried.
The laksa spices and herbs turn into grits, and when spooned over the rich coconutty rice with nuts, ikan bilis, cucumber, egg and sambal, it is a double dose sensation of laksa and nasi lemak on one plate.
Keng Wah Sung Cafe
783 Geylang Road, opens 6am to midnight, closed on Sunday
Around for decades, it is one of the last few kopitiams boasting the corner street kopi hangout atmosphere of the 70s.
Instead of the local bakery-style of kaya bread, commercial sliced versions are used.
You will notice the difference in execution - the thin bread is still sliced in half and the resultant texture is flaky-crispy and light, with a generous spread of butter and moist kaya that is made and sold on-site.
The coffee is old-school classic, using robusta beans defined with accents of maize and butter.
A set with coffee, toast and half-boiled egg is only $3.60.
Makansutra has rated Keng Wah Sung Cafe for over 20 years and it remains the same after two decades.
Dee Tongue Thai by Rung Mama
#02-33 Golden Mile Complex, opens 11am to 10pm daily
Many of the little Thai eateries that dot the alleys of Golden Mile Complex are of a certain standard - the area is Little Thailand, after all.
But this new player is stealing some shine from the usual suspects.
Its large, de-shelled Cockles Spicy Salad, or Yum Hoi Kaeng ($15), is in a league of its own.
It is quickly tossed and stir-fried in a dark Thai salad that is perfumed with chilli, lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime.
The soft, chewy cockles lend an earthy shellfish aroma, and this recipe gets you hooked with each bite.
But that is not all. The large-sized deep-fried seabass, or Pla Tod Lad Yum Ma Muang ($35), is fresh and crispy on the outside, showered with a cloud of som tum (green papaya salad) featuring a nutty, sour-spicy flavour.